8 Security and Privacy Settings Mac Users Need to Know About

With so many hackers sitting online to track users’ internet activities and steal their data, it’s important to consider computer security. However, Mac users don’t need to use advanced system safety.

There are several built-in security and privacy settings Mac computers have to keep data safe. Even Apple is constantly making improvements to Mac security and privacy. Here, we will guide you through these settings.   


Do you know that macOS computers also track users’ location? It will keep tracking the location unless you turn off Significant Locations. This feature allows Mac to remember places important to provide location-associated data.

To turn off locations, click Security & Privacy in System Preferences and then Location Services. Tap “Click the lock to make changes” and input the device password. Choose Details and unmark the box close to Significant Locations. Unmark “Location-Based Apple Ads”.

Lockdown Mode

By default, this mode is disabled. You need to turn it on when you find that you might be a victim of a sophisticated cyberattack. This mode locks down various functions, apps, and websites like FaceTime, Messages, or web browsing.

Government officials, journalists, politicians, and people working in sensitive sectors need to use lockdown mode on Mac. To turn this mode on, tap Privacy & Security, and select Turn On in the Lockdown Mode section. Confirm with Use Password or Touch ID.  


This Mac security feature allows apps to use your contacts. It provides the requested access to the listed apps. If you don’t want your contact list to be accessed by any other application, you can customize its settings.

Sometimes, it happens when you have third-party apps for that you may have unintentionally shared your contact list. To prevent this mistake from happening again, click Security & Privacy and then tap Contacts. Choose the apps that can access requests to your contacts.


This is an integrated disk encryption feature on macOS. It encrypts the startup disk information via 128-bit AES encryption. It also encrypts and decrypts new data when read and written on storage. The encrypted data will be automatically password-protected and locked.

Users will require using a login password. To turn it on:

  1. Choose System Settings, and tap Privacy & Security.
  2. Click FileVault and the lock at the bottom side.
  3. Type administrator credentials and hit Unlock.
  4. Tap Turn On FileVault.
  5. Select one option, tap Continue, and restart your Mac.

Analytics & Improvements

Other security and privacy settings Mac have that you can change include Analytics & Improvements. By enabling this option, you allow Apple to gather information about services, third-party apps, and hardware running on your Mac.

If you don’t want to share analytics of your Mac with Apple, you can disable Analytics & Improvements. Tap the Apple logo and click System Preferences. Choose Security & Privacy and tap Privacy. Click Location Services and then select Analytics & Improvements. Unmark Share Mac Analytics.  

Personalized Ads

You might see ads in Stocks, the Mac App Store, and Apple News targeted to your interest. Tap the Ad button to find out why you’re receiving a certain ad. If you don’t wish Apple to use your data for ad targeting, turn off Personalized Ads.

Pick System Preferences and then Security & Privacy. Keep scrolling on the left corner and select Apple Advertising under the Analytics option. Unmark the box next to Personalized Ads.

Unwanted System Services

System Services are available in the menu of Location Services. They drain the battery as they run in the background every time. So, turn off unnecessary System Services. Tap the Apple logo.

In the System Preferences or Settings, click Security & Privacy. Tap on the Lock icon. Use Touch ID or password to make changes. Click Details and unmark all services, excluding Time Zone & System Customizations and Find My Mac.

Security and Privacy Settings

Mac users can manage the information their system makes accessible to others over the internet using the Privacy & Security settings. The same settings can also be used to safeguard the data by encrypting it via FileVault.

To check and change these settings on your Mac computer, select the Apple menu or the Apple logo. Click System Settings and then Privacy & Security. Here, you will see 4 key tabs – FileVault, General, Privacy, and Firewall. Now, you can modify the required settings.


These are the key privacy and security settings you can enable on your Mac. However, you’ll find many more options. For example, Reminders, Calendars, Speech Recognition, HomeKit, Full Disk Access, or Input Monitoring.

When you find that some default settings are highly rigid, change them accordingly. Be sure the changes you are making will not affect your app’s performance negatively. Hopefully, this article will assist you in protecting your Mac and your sensitive data.

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